What is applied anthropology? Everyone knows that anthropology is the science, which studies humans from all sides. This study has its own theory and methodology. Applied anthropology is the application of the theory for the solution of various anthropological problems on practice. Obviously, there are many issues related with humans and their cultures. These problems require effective solutions and profound analysis. It does not worth mentioning that applied anthropology is the key for the detailed understanding of humanity.
Applied anthropology is a varied study and one can distinguish at least four subcategories of this science. One can name physical anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology and archeology. These subareas study humans from all possible angles.
Physical anthropology touches upon physical organization and development of our body. Naturally, this discipline applies comparative methods to observe the constitution of the human body from the point of view of history. Doubtless, people had smaller brains, different posture and appearance millions years ago. Physical anthropology tries to describe the main changes of the human organism in the run of time. Archeology is a very effective subarea of anthropology, because it provides scholars with the material evidence and items. These objects can help them understand ancient people and their culture better. Sociocultural anthropology studies different nations from the point of view of ethnology, sociology and culture. Scholars study traditions, customs, clothes, dishes, folklore and other important elements of every ethnos.
Finally, there is linguistic anthropology, which touches upon the definite language, its origin and development.
Applied anthropology was very popular in the first part of the 20th century. Europeans and Americans decided to study the undiscovered people, their languages and traditions. Applied anthropology was very useful for the profound understanding of Native Americans. The colonists wanted to learn about Native Americans in order to establish intensive contacts with them. It was unreasonable to ignore this issue, because there were many representatives of Native Americans who agreed to cooperate with the new hosts of the continent. Colonists wanted to establish trade, administration and cultural exchange with Native Americans in order to live in peace and harmony with them. No wonder, a great number of anthropologists devoted their time to this problem. They studied endangered languages of different tribes and analyzed their culture in detail. They wanted to record as much information about these people as possible to avoid their extinction. One can say that American linguistic anthropology got its birth due to the attentive study of Native Americans and their languages.
Modern anthropologists study different tribes in Africa and South America. It is still possible to find many tribes, which have preserved their authentic culture and lifestyle. It is very interesting to study their way of life, language, religion, social structure, clothes, traditions, etc. This information is very important, because one can improve his knowledge about the enormous variety of people all over the world. Some traditions and customs can shock and astonish us, but we should know about their existence.
One can say about several disadvantages of applied anthropology and its influence on authentic tribes. When a scholar begins to study a tribe, he introduces a great number of alien elements, which can change the lifestyle of its members a lot. For example, they can see new clothes, technologies and behavior, which can influence their mind. Consequently, they borrow these new elements and lose their authenticity.
In conclusion, applied anthropology is the study, which can improve our knowledge about different people, their languages, traditions, religions, values, etc. It helps us get to know about the total variety of the inhabitants of our planet and their lifestyle.
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